tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC July 21, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT
debt deal train's lumbering along three different tracks. >> i want everyone that can hear my voice to understand that time is of the essence. we are running out of time. >> what's the latest version of reid-mcconnell? >> on one track, the reid-mcconnell backup plan to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. a few days ago, it looked like that might be the answer. now some rank and file lawmakers seem sour on it and senate leader reid's getting fed up with all the back-and-forth. >> unfortunately, the loudest, shrillest voices from the republican party are not reasonable leaders, but tea party extremists. >> now there's word that another track may be picking up steam. the white house backed $4 trillion deal may be back on the table. the president's signaling he might be open to a short-term agreement on raising the debt ceiling as long as it's part of a big deal. yesterday, he called democratic leaders and later, republicans to the white house for more
talks. gop leaders called those meetings productive. then there's the renewed gang of six plan, which offers a blueprint for a deal. >> devil is in the details. >> it doesn't have the stamp now of the committees on the house and senate side and that is going to be essential. >> but it has problems, too. some liberal members worry about its impact on social security and medicare, and the closed door meetings that led to the plan. >> we are an anti-gang group. we are trying to suppress the growth of gangs. we think that it is not healthy for washington. >> the negotiations could go down to the wire, with the nation's spending power hanging in the balance. >> it isn't perfect but when the alternative is we're going to drive this country over the cliff, i think we got to start with something that actually gets the job done. >> the one thing we've been committed to is getting a
solution. >> mike, where do we stand? >> reporter: we're 14 days out. i just got an e-mail from a top hill aide and i asked this individual where do we stand. here's the response. it's a mystery. we're all treading water, looking around trying to figure out which way to swim. there have been a number of meetings over the course of the last few days. you know the president hosted top democrats in congress, nancy pelosi, harry reid, steny hoyer and dick durbin yesterday. then it was the republicans' turn, john boehner, of course. that is the crux, the sticking point there. house republicans in the house of representatives, tea party favorites, fiscal conservatives will not budge on the issue of taxes, taking what they believe is a very principled stand and the president and democrats not willing to go along with anything that does not raise revenues. look, you talked about the so-called grand bargain being resuscitated or the gang of six. both of them very similar in scope and scale. one of the reasons why those
things have taken on new life is everybody's looked at the so-called fall-back plan put forward by mitch mcconnell. particularly conservatives in the house. some have called it stupid, they view it as sort of the mitch mcconnell make me senate majority leader next term of congress plan. they're not interested in that. by comparison, something along the lines of a grand bargain, the $4 trillion deal appears more attractive to them, but the question is, which of those plans are they going to hold their nose and vote for. right now, by all accounts, there are simply not the votes in the house of representatives to pass anything. meanwhile, we're 14 days out from an economic abyss. >> depending -- 12 days, depending which days you count. if you count today, august 2nd is the deadline, no matter how you count them. we're looking at now, as you said, down to the wire. we'll wait and see which track, so to speak, gets most of the action. thank you. here's my big question today. shouldn't house members work through the weekend on this debt
mess? that's one of the things that harry reid said he was so disappointed about. you can reach out to me, let me know what you think on facebook, on twitter, on e-mail. congressman hanson clark is a democrat from michigan. let me ask you that question. should house members be at work this weekend dealing with this debt mess? >> yes, we should. but we should deal with the true debt that's hurting the american people. we need to cut mortgages and forgive certain student loans. the focus right now has been totally on this federal debt and while it's very important for the government to avoid default so that our interest rates won't go up on the money that we owe, the real true debt that's crushing americans right now is consumer debt. so i want this deal to focus on helping the american people get out of consumer debt by cutting mortgages and forgiving certain student loans, we can create more purchasing power with americans because they will have more money to responsibly spend.
that's how you create jobs. also, there's a difference between this federal debt and consumer debt. the federal government right now can borrow short term at virtually no interest rates at all, and they can borrow long term for less than 3%. however, if you and i or any of our viewers miss a credit card payment, we'll be hit with a 30% surcharge. we've got to cut consumer debt right now. >> congressman, i know that's a priority of yours. in fact, you took your time on the house floor actually cutting up some of those credit cards. we do have video of that. let me play it, talk to you on the other side. >> stop the spending. stop the borrowing. stop overconsumption, buying things that you don't need with money that you don't have. that's robbing you and your family of a future. it's robbing this country out of jobs. so i'm going to ask every american right now, get out your credit cards, cut them up, free
yourselves, free yourselves. >> i understand and i'm sure a lot of your colleagues in congress would agree with you that our personal debt as americans is problematic, that it's troubling, but when you have the u.s. chamber of commerce warning congress that a stand not to compromise makes our fiscal security, puts our fiscal security in jeopardy, don't you feel like that should be the priority right now? >> you know, the american people right now are in economic crisis. someone who is under water on their mortgage, someone who has defaulted on their student loan will be in debt for 30 years or their entire lifetime, that's an enormous problem as well. yes, we must avoid government default because that will make the problem worse. but the issue is a lot of these folks in congress are focusing on this federal debt because they want to make the president look bad, and they want to get rid of medicare and downsize social security. that's not the way to go. we need to help the american people, not hurt them. >> congressman, of the three
plans that currently are getting most of the attention right now, is there one specifically that you would like to support? >> any plan, any big deal must cut consumer debt. because that's what directly impacts the american people. we free up the money that americans are paying on creditors, that's why jobs in a sense really doesn't matter. somebody could be working but they could be paying their whole income to creditors. we want americans to be able to have some of that money, invest, have responsible purchasing power. that's how you create jobs. >> congressman clark from michigan, thank you so much. appreciate your time today. >> you're very welcome. we have breaking news coming in from the "washington post" which is reporting that the fec has now demanded that john edwards' presidential campaign repay $2 million in matching funds. they say it should repay the treasury in this because it came from, you know, these are the federal matching funds that match the campaign
contributions, got nearly $13 million in matching funds all together and now the federal election commission saying that the campaign understated its cash, overstated its expenses and so should pay back $2.3 million. we'll follow up on that as the afternoon progresses here. millions of people are dealing with scorching temperatures across the country. since june, there have been 13 heat-related deaths in kansas alone, in kansas city alone. the national weather service has issued heat watches, warnings and advisories in more than 30 states. more than 140 million americans are now trapped under what experts call a heat dome. it's high pressure that compresses air, cooks it, holds it in place over more than one million square miles, basically just turns this whole area into a convection oven. let's bring in the weather channel's carl parker. when might we see some relief? >> we will get hotter initially in the northeast and then cooler. the middle of the country is not
really going to change any time soon. that big area of high pressure anchored right here is going to expand farther eastward, so 98, 99 degrees in d.c. today, then tomorrow, we look for 101 in new york city. it will feel even hotter than that, 100 in raleigh. still very hot along the eastern seaboard on saturday, 101 in d.c. again, nothing really changes in the middle of the country. so very hot through the weekend for a lot of the midatlantic region but there is some cooling on the way. a front will drop down through the lakes and come in by the early part of next week, bring temperatures back to where they typically would be at this time of year. more like the 80s around new york city and the 70s in boston. but the heat in the middle of the country, that's not going anywhere any time soon. weather-wise, not a whole lot going on. got a couple showers and storms in the southeast. the coverage will increase this afternoon. some complexes in the northeast and midwest, that's where we will find potential severe weather today. we are also watching a category 5 hurricane -- excuse me, 4,
nearly a 5, now moving away from the coast. just high surf coming into the resort areas. >> thank you very much. a new jersey senator is blasting news corp. and digging up an old hacking accusation against an american arm of rupert murdoch's empire. senator frank lautenberg asked the justice department to look into a dispute between news america marketing and a new jersey marketing company. the company claimed news america hacked into its computer system nearly a dozen times in 2003 and 2004. the fbi is already investigating allegations that news corp. employees tried to hack into the voice mail accounts of september 11th victims. murdoch denied that in his testimony before parliament. murdoch and his wife wendi returned home to new york yesterday, to a warm reception following the grilling murdoch got in parliament. let me bring in nbc's martin fletcher in london. where do the investigations on both sides of the pond stand?
>> reporter: contessa, here with rupert murdoch home in the united states, of course, the investigation is beginning there. the fbi as you mentioned and britain's parliament in summer recess until september 5. it may seem as if the drama's over here at least, but far from it. the government has widened its investigation of news international, rupert murdoch's group in the uk, to include other broadcasters and social media and also other newspapers. now prime minister cameron said police should follow every trail and they would have his complete support. one key target of the investigation here, the wider investigation is going to be the bbc. politicians have long had the bbc in their sights, saying it's too big, too powerful. sounds familiar, just like murdoch's empire. they have attacked the bbc from the left and the right. but every cloud has a silver lining here. after murdoch closed his newspaper, "news of the world," the source of his current troubles, "the sunday mirror" increased its circulation by 50%. >> martin fletcher, thanks for
staying on top of it for us. police find a big clue this morning in the disappearance of a missing mom from north carolina. plus, the end of an era after the space shuttle "atlantis" lands at kennedy space center. first, looks like there might be a deal in europe over the debt there. stocks here are moving higher on that news. european leaders expected to finalize a new package for greece at an emergency meeting in brussels today. we will keep our eye on that. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different.
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to a rock in the middle of the swift river. the other was taking their picture. all three went over the 317 foot falls and were swept away. their bodies still have not been recovered. a 6-year-old girl bitten by a shark in north carolina is in the hospital and doing well, according to her family. the girl's mom was about ten feet away when her daughter was attacked tuesday. the shark bit on the lower right leg and foot while the little girl was playing in just 18 inches of water. the girl's family says her response, i hate sharks. i like dolphins way better. a lottery just ended for same sex couples who want to marry sunday in new york city. the city was overwhelmed by more than 1700 same sex marriage applications for the first day such marriages will be allowed in the state. mayor bloomberg said 364 lucky couples will be selected by lottery. the winners will be announced tomorrow. police in north carolina have uncovered a major clue in the mysterious disappearance of
a mom who went missing more than a week ago. authorities found laura ackerson's abandoned ford focus. friends and family say there is just no way she would just pick up and leave. the 27-year-old was last seen in raleigh after dropping her two children off at their dad's. what's the theory here? what do they think happened? >> reporter: they're just not sure at this point. the raleigh police, i spoke with them this morning, a detective there. he said look, we're at the beginning of this ourselves because the kingston police department initially had the case so they're starting to backtrack, figure out the information from the friend who did in fact report her missing last week. taking that friend's information, closing in that timeline, figuring out exactly where she was and also pulling surveillance from the area. her vehicle was found, a ford focus was found yesterday in an apartment complex. so there's got to be some other clues, some folks that have seen her. have to figure out the last moment she was seen and who saw that person and who saw her. >> i know at this point, they're
looking at the possibility that this could be suspicious. they're also looking, there's a custody battle going on. is it civil? >> reporter: there is a custody battle. it's about as civil as custody battles can be. i think both parents were trying to work with the children and get them as much as they possibly could. right now, no suspects, no foul play suspected. it's just simply a missing person case. but it's starting out like so many others. a woman has been missing from tennessee now for more than four months and we don't even remember her. of course, we remember when we haven't reported on her in awhile. also, a woman missing more than a few years, stacy peterson, just to name a few. also, a missing mom of triplets is still out there. we just don't want this case to end up like theirs, where there's just no answers and after time goes on, it's just kind of going away. we want to be able to keep laura's face out there and keep the other missing moms' faces out there. that's why this is extremely important. if you have any information,
please pick up the phone and give the raleigh police department a lead, a tip. they need it. >> we put that number up there as well but again, if you think you have seen her, you can look up the raleigh police department's phone number. thank you. appreciate that. al qaeda apparently is looking to recruit kids and are using a sure-fire way to get them interested. plus, you've heard it's so hot outside, you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. wait until you see what one woman baked inside her car. every day, all around the world,
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brought under control. the cat died a few hours later from injuries sustained in the face-off and the people attacked are all recovering. incredible x-ray images of a florida boy's brain with a pellet lodged inside it. close call for tommy gallagher, whose brother accidentally shot him in the head. tom tommy's doctors decided to leave the pellet there rather than try a risky operation. he's in rehab to regain control of his arm and leg. if you needed more proof of how bad this heat wave is, it's so hot in minnesota's twin cities, you can literally bake cookies on the car dashboard. 96 degrees outside yesterday, 105 if you factor in the humidity, and out in the hot sun, temperatures could hit 130 degrees inside a closed car. not as hot as the home oven but enough to turn this batch golden brown. al qaeda has a new plan to recruit children using a kid's
favorite, cartoons. plus, why congressman allen west refuses to apologize to dnc chair, congresswoman debbie wassermann-schultz after calling her names. hot on the web today, our theme, ripoff. the chinese have taken counterfeit goods to a whole new level. it's ripped off a whole store. the apple store in the city reportedly isn't an authentic apple store, though you wouldn't know it by the looks of it. an expat blogger is exposing the knockoff retailer and making it one of the more famous of the sort of apple stores. no response from the real company yet. the winkelback twins became famous for accusing mark zuckerberg for ripping off their idea for facebook. they even appealed to the then head of harvard. he apparently doesn't think much of these handsome twins. he told "fortune" magazine, saying one of the things you learn as a college president is
if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket at 3:00 in the afternoon, there are two possibilities. one is they have a job interview. the other is they are an a-hole. this was the latter case. old navy is trending on twitter today because kim kardashian is suing the clothing chain for ripping off her likeness using it in a tv commercial. the twieeters are pointing out old navy is famous for its knockoffs. some are questioning whether kim k. is upset her old boyfriend is dating her lookalike. whatever happened to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? with new olay body collections, tantalizing fragrances and olay moisturizing ingredients that transform lathering into lavishing. olay body collections. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists
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most state employees in minnesota are back to work today for the first time in nearly three weeks. a day after the governor signed a budget deal. the shutdown cost that state millions in revenue. arizona raised nearly $40,000 to build a border fence in the first 17 hours of its fund-raising effort. the goal here is $50 million. the leading women's health association says women should start getting annual screenings for breast cancer starting at 40, not 50, like a government panel recommended. nissan's electric car will soon not only be good for going to the grocery store but cooking those groceries during a blackout. all you'll need is a little adapter. the space shuttle "atlantis" has returned to earth and nasa is turning its attention to sending astronauts to an astroid and maybe mars some day. "atlantis" landed just before sunrise at cape canaveral, marking the official end to the 30-year space shuttle program. tom costello has more. >> reporter: good day to you.
it was a very early morning for all of us here at the kennedy space center but well worth getting up so early, as we watched "atlantis" come in for its final mission, its final landing here at the kennedy space center and wrapping up all of the missions over a 30-year history. here now, the sights and sounds as "atlantis" came to a wheel stop on runway 15 at the kennedy space center. >> landing gear down and locked. having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, its place in history secured, the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time, its voyage at an end. >> after serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history and has come to a final stop. >> we copy your wheel stop. we'll take this opportunity to
congratulate you, "atlantis," as well as the thousands of passionate individuals across this great space-faring nation who truly empowered this incredible space craft which for three decades has inspired millions around the globe. job well done, america. >> great words. great words. the space shuttle changed the way we view the world, changed the way we view our universe. a lot of emotion today but america is not going to stop exploring. thank you, "columbia," and thank you for bringing this program to such a fitting end. god bless the united states of america. >> reporter: for "atlantis," this was the 33rd mission, 125 million miles in space in total, 307 days in space with more than 4,000 earth orbits. but the numbers for the program in total are impressive. we said them before but here
they are again. 541 million miles traveled over 30 years. more than 21,000 orbits of the earth. 37 trips to the international space station. it was the 78th landing here at the kennedy space center on a perfect, perfect mission from liftoff through the completion of everything at the space station and then to landing, not a hitch, not a weather glitch. it was perfect from start to finish and really an appropriate ending for this program which has now spanned 30 years and 135 missions with many people here at the kennedy space center and the johnson space center in houston awfully sad to see this program wrapped up. back to you. the battle over the debt debate is sparking a nasty fight between two florida lawmakers. now five democratic congresswomen are demanding an apology from republican allen west after his e-mail tirade directed at congresswoman debbie wassermann-schultz. the e-mail read in part you are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the u.s. house of representatives.
>> just once again, we have been told that in order to be a lady, that we need to just stay in our places. >> in any other employment environment, he would be subject to a sexual harassment claim for creating a hostile work environment. >> kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill. has west apologized? >> reporter: no, and his office tells nbc news there's no reason for him to apologize, because they believe that congresswoman debbie wassermann-schultz is the one who really provoked this and went too far. the back story on this is that allen west was on the floor speaking about this whole debt fight, advocating for the republican plan. a short time later, congresswoman debbie wassermann-schultz who is also the democratic national committee chair, got up and referenced him without naming him but said the gentleman from florida, and you knew who she was referring to, was in essence planning to harm seniors in a state like florida, where seniors are so important. he was very, very upset about
that, as you can guess by the tone of the e-mail and what he wrote really was blistering in many ways. the other women congress members were upset that he had referred to her not acting like a lady and therefore, not deserving respect. so this is one of those things that seemed to really go off the rails. allen west is a freshman republican. he's also affiliated with the tea party. so new to congress, he used to be an army officer and school teacher and he was taking on someone with a lot of political experience. she said oh, those e-mails didn't bother me, he really cracked under the pressure which is certainly a jab as well. some of the democratic women believe this is not the right behavior for a member of congress, no matter what the back story. they wanted that apology. it does not appear they are going to get it. allen west appealed to leadership in both parties saying it was wassermann-schultz who went too far. as you might imagine, leadership is not talking about this. when i asked about it, they said they are kind of worried about the debt issue right now and they just didn't want to engage in this. but the political teams are.
they are using this, sending out e-mails trying to raise money on both sides of this thing. this is an incident that shows that their supporters should send in more cash. >> it is shocking how rabid, how passionate, how extreme the language has become even in the political arena as well. it really is. kelly, thanks. what do cartoons and terrorism have in common? apparently it's the new recruiting tool targeting children. the yemeni branch of al qaeda reportedly will roll out an animated film teaching the history of the terrorist group. it was introduced on an arabic jihadist website this past weekend as i quote, an alternative to the poison broadcast by other tv channels to our children and youth. one analyst described it as a disney-like film trying to make terrorism exciting to young people. terrorism analyst evan coleman joins me. the question is, will it be effective? >> look, the idea of this sounds
chilling to people but the reality is this is not an original idea. there have been others that have done this before, created cartoons to try to espouse extremist ideals. someone was arrested for encouraging children to carry out suicide bombings. if you're really worried about children being involved in terrorism and extremism, i would be far more concerned with the videos out there on the internet of training camps in pakistan, where little kids, 4 and 5 years old, are actually there. cartoons on the internet is not what we need to be worried about. >> it seems like it's the parents that would need to be targeted in marketing efforts. a child on his own is not going to say hey, i'm really interested in becoming a pint-sized suicide bomber. it will be the parents who do it. >> you just hit right on it. kids that radicalize themselves, that starts at about 13, 14, 15 years old at the earliest. anyone that's younger than that, the only reason that they're getting involved in violent
extremism is because of irresponsible parenting, because of parents that bring their kids into conflict zones, that introduce them to violent ideologies. that's the fault of the parents, not the cartoons. when we see kids that are trying to radicalize themselves, they are looking for hardcore videos, looking for al qaeda suicide bombings and beheadings. >> one analyst predicted this could actually backfire because he says it could basically infuriate parents who think that al qaeda is overstepping its boundaries and you leave parenting to us, we'll decide what's best for our kids. >> look, again, if you really want to radicalize someone at that age, you've got to put them in a training camp. you can't show them cartoons. that's not enough. is there a problem with child soldiers? yes. particularly in places like somalia and pakistan. what's driving them to join these organizations is not cartoons. it's irresponsible parents who are trying to put their own political ideals in their kids. that's what we should be going after. not the cartoons. >> remember in the israeli-palestinian conflict when it was said the conflict
itself would never end until moms loved their children more than they hated the israelis. i think in this case with al qaeda, much the same could be said. >> yep. that's true. >> thanks. congress is still trying to negotiate a deal on the debt ceiling. there have been warnings about the impact on the u.s. economy. but it will also have an impact on you and your town. plus an update on the memphis school shutdown over a $55 million tab. the city sent the school system $3 million so far. will the doors open on august 8th as planned? i talk with both sides of that debate. ben and his family live on this block. ben's a re/max agent, and he's a big part of this community.
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enough potassium is a recipe for heart problems. a new study found the more sodium a person had in their diet, the higher their overall risk of death. men, young adults and smokers were more likely to fit in this category, having high levels of potassium in the diet was linked to a lower risk of death. i'm andrea mitchell. coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports" debt deadlock. with only 12 days to go, what is it going to take to get past the impasse? we'll ask paul ryan and ranking budget committee member chris van hollen. taking aim at ames. in the race for the republican nomination, tim pawlenty goes on the attack. plus the democratic women of capitol hill take a stand, rallying behind dnc chairwoman debbie wassermann-schultz. see you in 15 minutes on "andrea mitchell reports." join us. teachers in memphis are due back at work in less than two weeks but the school board there voted to delay the start of the new school year indefinitely.
they're holding the school year hostage until the city pays what it owes the district. dr. kenneth whalen is with the memphis city school board of commissioners. doctor, explain the logic behind delaying classes. >> hi, contessa. the logic is pretty clear. you can't get blood out of a turnip. the school board is being forced to try to operate without adequate funding. the board voted eight to one to delay the start of school, not cancel school, but to delay it until the requisite funding is received from the city council. that was done a couple days ago. that's where we are right now. >> are you saying you have no money if the city doesn't pay? >> no, that's an interesting -- there is an interesting funding formula in the state of tennessee, as you well know, and andrea knows as well. education funding in the united states is very complex. so that although the city talks about their contribution is only about 10% of our budget,
according to state education funding, if we don't receive the entire 10%, then the state will cut off its funding of memphis city schools. so about $427 million from the state is at stake. >> councilwoman, what's the holdup? >> i really think the holdup, i have to take my hat off to the president jones for casting the no vote not to delay schools, because we have allocated funds to the memphis city school system. their budget is $1 billion, and some people say 3%, some say 10% of the monies that we give them and if there had been prudent management, there should be no reason whatsoever to delay schools. we want the teachers back in school. we want the children back in school. there has been so much misinformation being
disseminated from the administration within the memphis city schools that they're pointing the fingers at the city council saying that we're the holdup, we're not paying them their money. >> is that the way that you see it? do you owe them money? >> well, we are in court right now because in 2008, we did not fully fund the memphis city school system, number one because the citizens of memphis were being taxed twice and secondly, because there was corruption and mismanagement of funds. so we did not fully fund them. that is now in court right now with a counterclaim from the city of memphis that the memphis city school system owes us $161 million because of capital improvements. >> you just said that the money has been allocated so if the money's been allocated, that seems -- it stands to reason that the city believes that it's money that is owed the schools. why isn't it being paid? >> well, certainly we paid for
the last two years. in our 2011-2012 budget, we allocated $87.7 million. what the problem is right now, we can't pay money that we don't have. we had $3 million sitting there waiting for the school system to take that money. for whatever reason, they have not taken that money. because part of our property taxes, that money, part of that money goes to the memphis city council -- memphis city school system. we cannot give them what we don't have. when the property owners pay their taxes, then that's when we send that money to the memphis city school system. but if they don't pay it, then we don't give an advance on it, so to speak. >> contessa, you asked the exact correct question. where is the money. if the money is there, why hasn't it been paid. for the last four years, the city of memphis has shorted memphis city schools to a total of about $150 million.
>> let me ask you both, though, i'm reading the parents of the kids who are looking at this and saying either a, what happens, do i have to pay for summer camp for a few more weeks, do i have to pay for day care when my kids are supposed to be back in school, when the plan i have made for all year long was that my kids were going back to school the middle of august, and it's not happening, plus i'm looking at the list here of items they are threatening to eliminate if there's no funding. textbooks, all the music programs, rotc, early childhood alternative education, world languages. i mean, there has got to be parents looking at this and going come on, work it out. >> right. >> you know what, i don't blame parents for saying that, because even when memphis city schools were fully funded, students still did not have textbooks. again, there must be prudent management. it's my opinion that the superintendent is sending out these scare tactics, certainly to the citizens of memphis, to
the teachers and there's a lot of misinformation and miscommunication that's going on. >> doctor, since the councilwoman is there now, will you get up from this interview and between the two of you, see if you can come up with an agreement you can take back to your colleagues? >> neither of us is authorized to do that and there are no official settlement negotiations going on right now. i will say, contessa, that in a city where president obama just came in may to speak to the wonderful graduates of booker washington high school, it's a shame we're on the map for this kind of example. but, but it points out something that is not endemic to memphis. local elected officials across the nation are adopting what i call a deadbeat dad syndrome where they take the funds that are intended for children's use and find something else for it. it's very unfortunate. >> i can see the divide here. i can see it's one that won't be easily managed in terms of building the bridge across it. i wish you both the best of luck. i got to leave it there. thank you both.
on capitol hill, negotiations continue as the debt deadline looms but still no resolution in sight. i asked earlier about members of congress, especially house members and whether they should work through the weekend to solve the crisis. that's not the plan. tammy writes they should be there, night and day, until something is resolved, especially since it appears that the house's inability to reach a compromise even among themselves is what's holding up a resolution. richard writes they should be at work until they get something accomplished. maybe they should cut their own wages to help reduce the debt. and not working through the weekend is unconscionable. it's finals week, time to pull an all-nighter. i like to hear what you have to say about things. reach me on facebook, twitter and e-mail. i heard from a lot of you over the past 24 hours. raul salinas is joining a
group of 50 mayors urging lawmakers to come up with a deal. good to see you today, mayor. >> good to see you. >> i know you're urging lawmakers to come up with an agreement. we are seeing a news report crossing the wires that more than a third of house republicans have signed on to a letter opposing the reid-mcconnell backup plan. do you think it's possible the nation goes into default for the lack of an agreement? >> well, i hope not, because it would really be a disaster. we are already seeing a fragile economy. i think we need to get working together. i think the strength is with unity and i think we need to take care of business. we cannot afford to harm our citizens. when you're talking about social security cuts, when you're talking about other cuts, medicare, you know, what are we going to do? we need to take care of our soldiers and their families. as mayors of the cities, we're right there at the front lines. i think we need to take care of business. we need to put america back to work.
but it needs to be taken care of with compassion and compromise. we need to stop this bickering. we need to take care of business. we need to put america back to work and become more competitive. >> in terms of the impact on laredo and the consequences your city is facing, which of the three plans that we have heard of would be the best for the people who live there? >> well, i think it's got to be room for compromise but i think what the president is trying to do, he's trying to do his very best. as a mayor of the city, i'm seeing poverty. we live in one of the poorest areas along the border but i think what we have to do is to make sure that we come to some kind of agreement. i think working together, i think there has to be more dialogue but i think the bottom line is that we have 12 days to go. we need to take care of business right now, because this is going to have a negative impact across america and we need to take care of business. but the bottom line is there's got to be concessions, give and
take. i support the president strongly. we're trying to do the right thing. we're trying to do the right thing. but i think with unity, that's where the strength lies. >> mayor, we continue to watch and see whether anything does get done in washington, d.c. thank you so much for your time today. i just wanted to mention, reuters is reporting that standard & poor's is going to meet with first term congressmen at the house of representatives. they're the ones who said the united states risks lose its stellar credit rating if it doesn't get a deal done by this august 2nd deadline. thank you for watching this hour. i'm contessa brewer. see you tomorrow, noon eastern. the white house says a basic agreement on the debt ceiling needs to be reached in order to get legislation drafted and passed before that deadline. we'll keep you up to date on that. andrea mitchell will have more ahead on "andrea mitchell reports." it's all about the deadline. coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports" could the bush tax cuts be the key to crafting
a grand bargain on the debt ceiling? plus wall street developing a doomsday plan. what happens if the clock runs out before a deal gets done? over and out. the end of an era at nasa. "andrea mitchell reports" up next. we'll see a few possible showers around chicago, but the heat wave's a huge story. near 100 degree heat peaking today in d.c. to philadelphia, baltimore, possibly new york city and still 100s around dallas. et with expedia. make it work. booking a flight by itself is an uh-oh. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal. that's a hint, antoine. ooh! see what anandra did?
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time is of the essence. we are running out of time. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" 12 days and counting. the standoff continues. >> the ball continues to be in the president's court. i think he needs to step up and work with us on the spending cuts and reforms that the american people are demanding. >> we are going -- the u.s. government cannot default on its obligations. how we proceed must show a sign of serious deficit reduction. >> are there